Where Does Giving Too Much In A Relationship Usually Start?
The funny (or, should I say, scary) thing about giving too much in a relationship is that it starts without you even noticing it. It’s a power dynamic that is installed in the very heart of your relationship early on. Another scary fact is that the partner that is giving the most, doesn’t really notice this imbalance until it’s too late.
Since such an imbalance in the level and depth of attention tends to start from the beginning of the relationship, it might be a bit hard to actually realize you’re in the wrong, and that what you’re doing might harm you and your relationship in the long run. It’s important to recognize the signs and address the problem as soon as possible in order to keep your relationship healthy for both parties involved.
What Are The Differences About This Experience Between Males And Females?
As with most things in romantic relationships, the experience of being overly available, affectionate, and caring towards your partner is different between males and females. Regardless of gender, the one giving the most in a relationship will always be the person that doesn’t have the upper hand in it. So now, you must be wondering, how is it decided who has the upper hand in a relationship?
The partner that will have the upper hand will be the one who plays the ‘alpha’ position in the relationship. Because of social constructs, this role is usually taken by the male, but there are many cases in which the woman holds this position and the one who is giving too much in the relationship is the man. This act of ‘giving too much’ will depend on each individual person, but there are some patterns that men and women follow.
Men, on one hand, might lean towards overt jealousy, overspending, and showering the woman with compliments and attention in order to fulfill what they think she needs. Women, on the other hand, have a more emotional response when it comes to giving too much in the relationship. She might become her man’s rock and be at his beck and call all day, every day. This could lead to her forgetting about her own life and her own personal activities, further damaging herself and her achievements.
5 Clear Signs You’re Giving Too Much In Your Relationship
After reading all of the above, do you think you might be giving too much in your relationship? Check out these five clear signs that will tell you if you are:
1. You forget about your own sense of self
When you invest yourself in a relationship too much, you might forget about who you are as a person. It’s easy to find yourself letting go of your own plans, activities, and hobbies in order to give preference to whatever your man thinks is right or whatever he wants to do.
2. You’re always available
As simple as that: no matter what, when or where; if he needs you, you’ll be there in a heartbeat. It’s good to be a reliable girlfriend and be there for your man, but there’s a line between being present and supportive and becoming a personal assistant that responds to all of his texts in one second.
3. His priorities are your priorities
This one’s a dangerous one because you might find yourself slowly forgetting things that used to be of main importance to you: your relationship with your family, the time you spend with your friends or even your career. If you’re giving too much in your relationship, you’re probably focusing on his priorities and helping him achieve his goals, over your own development.
4. You’ve changed to fit into his lifestyle
You hear it from your family and your closest friends, but you don’t want to believe it: they tell you that this new relationship has changed you, and you’re no longer the person you used to be. If you’re trying too hard to make yourself the ‘perfect girlfriend’ for him, it’s no wonder you’re losing parts of yourself, as well.
5. You find yourself emotionally drained
The relationship is more of a headache to you than it is a source of joy. You finish each day emotionally, physically, and mentally drained, and you know deep inside that this is not healthy. A good, mature, responsible relationship should make you feel happy and energized, not dreading the start of a new day.
How Can Giving And Getting Nothing In Return Affect You And Your Relationship?
The number one consequence of giving too much in your relationship is that you damage your self-esteem. Constantly forgetting about yourself and your own goals and values in order to please a guy sends a message to your brain that you are not enough as you are, and therefore tampers with your self-image. Also, your guy probably isn’t putting in as much effort as you are, and therefore, you’re not getting anything out of all the energy and time you’re investing. This causes a negative emotional response that’s linked to feelings of unworthiness.
The relationship will be damaged by this imbalanced power dynamics, as well. Even if you don’t see it at first, in order for a relationship to thrive, both partners must be at the same level and should consider each other equally as well. If one of the two parties involved is always at a lower level and giving too much attention to the person at the top, it will eventually hurt the person who’s giving their all to the other one. This might lead to resentment and unhappiness, and, when it comes to relationships, both of these ingredients make a recipe for disaster.
How Do You Tell Your Partner About This Conflict?
In a healthy relationship that just so happens to be imbalanced, it’s probable that your man hasn’t really realized you’re hurting yourself by showering him with your attention 24/7. Yes, he probably likes all the extra attention, but it’s quite likely that he hasn’t realized how harmful this situation might be to you. Once you realize that the power dynamics are not the best, you can bring up the topic in a calm, neutral environment, and discuss it with your partner. Chances are, you’ll get to a solution together.
If, however, you’ve unwillingly found yourself in a toxic relationship, where your partner actually likes and craves seeing you forget about yourself for him, the solution will be a bit more difficult. Chances are, he won’t want the power dynamics to change (since he enjoys having your undivided love and attention), so talking it out with him might be especially hard. Keep reading to find out how to address this issue with a partner with whom you can’t communicate.
What Can The Couple Do To Resolve This Conflict?
As with almost everything in relationships, communication is key. It’s crucial that you have realized and addressed the problem on your own at first, and then, once you have a clear picture of the situation, you can bring it up and discuss it with your partner. Make sure you’re honest about your feelings and give him room to talk about his, too.
If talking is not enough to solve the conflict, you might want to look into getting help in the form of therapy or couples counseling. Perhaps the help of a professional is exactly what you both need to be able to communicate freely and earnestly. However, if you don’t see a change in your partner or in your relationship dynamic after talking it out and agreeing to shift some attitudes, then maybe you should consider if staying in the relationship is going to be healthy for your mental and emotional well-being in the long run.
In any healthy, mature relationship, it’s important that both partners are equal. There should not be a difference in the power dynamics between a couple, because that’s a clear recipe for disaster. If you feel like you’ve been giving too much in your relationship, it’s important that you do some soul searching to find the root cause for your behavior.
You must also address the problem with your partner so that you can both have a clear understanding of the issue and work together towards finding a solution. If that is something you can’t do, or if your partner is not willing to do his part and overcome this problem with you as an equal, perhaps it’s time you reevaluate your relationship.
Also, although it’s not something you might want to brag about to your girlfriends, chances are that your friends have also been through this experience at one time or another. It never hurts to share your feelings with a close friend whom you trust. Venting is healthy, so please do so! Remember to take care of your emotional and mental wellbeing, and a worthy man will come around sooner than expected.